A Brief Explanation of the True Significance of Amitabha
The abstruse and true meaning of A-mi-tuo-fo in Chinese, or Amitabha in Sanskrit, is really immeasurable and boundless, infinite and endless; today we shall take a cursory glance at one or two aspects of it.
“A (a)” means infinite; it displays that all phenomena inherently non-exists, and inherently non-creates, which is the source of all things.
“MITA (mi-tuo)” means capacity or quantity, unlimited quantity of sentient and non-sentient beings.
“BHA (fo)” is the original enlightenment, perfect supreme enlightenment, inconceivable enlightenment. This represents the great enlightened one who has understood thoroughly the life of the universe and the truth, that is named as “Buddha.”
Amitabha represents completely with immeasurable nirvana merits and enlightenment virtue of infinite life, wisdom, compassion, brightness, and vow power, etc., which is the inherent self-nature and title of all Buddha and all living beings, and it also is adorned with the myriad meritorious Amitabha of the Western Bliss World’s unique superior Pure Land and his name. Now, when people chant Amitabha, we chant our self-nature Amita simultaneously, and chant the mind essence of life origin of all Buddha and all living beings which is non-birth and non-annihilation, immovable and immutable, constantly and everlasting, light shining universally; to be the supreme nirvana merits and enlightenment virtues, the Maha – Prajna (great wisdom).
While chanting Amitabha one must concentrate one’s attention on the name of “Amitabha (Ah-mi-tuo-fo),” and one needs to chant at the right tempo, and the body and mind should be calmed and composed. If one can pursue this unrelentingly and become well-versed in this, then one can surely eradicate the unenlightened conditions, to realize and attain chanting Amitabha Samadhi, to have foreknowledge of the time of when to go and be born to the Amitabha Pure Land being master of oneself and becoming a Buddha in perfection! Shakyamuni Buddha became Buddha also by chanting Amitabha (see the Buddha speaks of Amitabha Sutra)!
All Buddha also became Buddha by chanting Amitabha! The method of chanting Amitabha unifies and commands all Buddha teachings, contains the vow power of all Buddha, thus knowable the inconceivability of the forty-eight vows of Amitabha! Chanting Amitabha to become Amitabha is unimaginable! All Buddha proclaim and praise the method of chanting Amitabha, and the forty-eight great vows of Amitabha are inexhaustible to the endless existence of world-periods, this is unfathomable! Consequently, Vairocana Tathagatha praises Amitabha:
The light emission of the highest revered one, the kind of all Buddha. (see the Infinite Life Sutra)
The method of chanting Amitabha is marvelous and special, easy to practice and convenient to do at any time and place. A person who sincerely chants Amitabha who truly makes an earnest vow to go and be born to Amitabha’s Pure Land, one is surely to become Buddha, then return on a merciful ferry to help all living beings! This is the career of Tathagatha, the life of normal human beings.
Wishing all people, who upon seeing and hearing this will initiate the mind of bodhi (enlightenment wisdom), it not only benefits the self but also benefits others, to be self-enlightened and also helps others to become enlightened!
From the above realization of chanting Amitabha to become Amitabha, that is the major benefit and infinite function of this supreme Prajna (wisdom), it is the indestructible Prajna-Paramita (perfection of transcendent wisdom).
Xiao-Yao recorded at that moment
【阿彌陀佛】(梵語 Amitabha)之玄妙真意、實乃無量無邊、無窮無盡,，吾今略說, 姑開顯一二。「阿」即無之意，表一切法本來無有、本來不生，是一切法之源頭； 「彌陀」乃量也，即有情無情一切無量；「佛」是本覺、妙覺、不可思議之覺也，此乃徹解宇宙人生，實際真相之大覺悟者，即名之曰佛。
【阿彌陀佛】者，即表具足無量壽命、智慧、慈悲、光明、願力、等等之無量功德， 是諸佛與眾生本具之自性與名號； 亦是西方極樂世界萬德莊嚴【阿彌陀佛】之殊勝淨土及其名號也。 茲吾人念【阿彌陀佛】即同時念自性彌陀， 亦即念一切諸佛與眾生之本命心體， 不生不滅、不動不變、常恆永存、光明遍照，是無上功德， 摩訶般若！
念佛時應一心專注於佛號上， 快慢適中， 身心泰然。 若能持之以恆， 功夫純熟之際， 必能豁破無明、証得念佛三昧， 預知時至， 自在往生極樂世界，圓滿成佛！而釋迦牟尼佛亦念彌陀而成佛 (出於阿彌陀經) ！諸佛亦如是念佛成佛！
念佛法門統攝一切佛法， 含容一切諸佛願力，如是可知彌陀四十八願不可思議！念佛成佛不可思議！諸佛宣說讚歎念佛法門及彌陀大願、窮劫不盡、不可思議！因此之故毘盧遮那如來即讚歎【阿彌陀佛】 乃光中極尊、佛中之王也 (出於無量壽經) ！